Protein Industries Canada announces micronutrient fertilizer reaches commercialization
by CM Staff
Expanded project includes technology improvements, a new processing facility in Rosetown, Sask. and increased distribution across Western Canada with manufacturing implications.
REGINA — A new $19 million project by Protein Industries Canada and a consortium of companies will try and help Canadian farmers further improve their substantiality and reduce carbon emissions through the commercialization of a new micronutrient fertilizer.
Soileos is a climate positive micronutrient fertilizer created from the upcycling of pea, lentil, and oat hulls – co-products from food processing. The use of Soileos reportedly increases crop yields and improves the health of soil, while also increasing revenues to both farmers and food processors.
AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., Lucent BioSciences, NuWave Research, IN10T and Aberhart Ag Solutions are collaborating to scale and distribute this new product. The project includes the installation of a new manufacturing process for the production of Soileos in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, that, when completed, will produce up to approximately 6,500 tons per year of micronutrient fertilizer and create 25 jobs.
“Our Government is proud to support this partnership that will enhance the quality of Canadian food crops through the production of cost-effective and sustainable fertilizer alternatives. This project demonstrates how Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters are fostering innovation, creating jobs and helping our economy grow,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“Fertilizer is crucial for the productivity of the Canadian agriculture sector. With the current disruptions caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Government of Canada is seeking to support cost-effective and sustainable fertilizer alternatives to help secure food supply chains. By investing in the commercialization of a new micronutrient fertilizer, we are helping farmers maintain their production to feed Canadians and the world, while reducing their environmental footprint,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
This new 50-50 join venture between AGT Foods and Lucent, which operates as AGT Soileos, will reportedly shorten the reaction time required in manufacturing to bind the plant-based fibres to the micronutrients from hours to minutes.
“This project is an example of what happens when innovation and collaboration collide,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “From a chance meeting in 2019, to a pilot project that produced 1 kg of Soileos a day and tested the effectiveness of pea, lentil and oat hulls through 2020 and 2021 and now to full-scale commercialization, this project proves how important innovation is to the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of Canada’s agri-food sector, and the commitment of the industry to sustainability and the environment.”
Initial field trials of Soileos on broad-acre crops such as durum, lentils and peas demonstrated how Soileos transports zinc, manganese, and iron to plants – leading to improved protein content, yields and soil health.